Aug 18 2012
We have three shooting boards in our tooling line up that are purpose made for molding work. The ‘Picture Frame Shooter’, the ‘Casework Molding Shooter’, and the ‘Master Miter Shooter’. For the best fitment and appearance, miters need trimmed in exactly the way the molding will be applied in it’s final location. Each of these boards specifically addresses the miter, based on how the molding is to be displayed .
Moldings are ubiquitous, and as we develop the eyes to see them, we see them everywhere. They are at the tops of ceilings and baseboards near floors; around doors and windows, frames and applied to all manners of furnishings. They are nearly always highly scrutinized for their beauty, and part of their beauty is not just in themselves, but in their application and display, everywhere. Shooting the ends of moldings assure that their beauty is fully applied.
The application of moldings to casework is age old, and moldings are the adornment for many, many different styles of furnishings. Furniture stylings have evolved over time with the intermingling of world cultures, artistic license, and the evolvement of both the tooling and machines that helped do the work. Whether the work was hand cut or machine shaped, applied as an ornamental molding, or carved directly to the case, the adornments made to nearly any furniture style are still most often applied to the piece in shapes that have their roots in the history of moldings.
Today’s craftsman is hungry for more tricks in their bag. The popularity of making one’s own moldings continues to grow, and stemming from this is an interest in the traditional molding planes such as hollows and rounds, that were used to strike moldings in any pattern imaginable. At the same time, many woodworkers make their moldings with routers and shapers, as well as purchase them ready made.
Moldings have a huge place in both furniture and architectural design. It doesn’t really matter if they were cut by hand or machine, shop made or supplied by a millwork shop. All moldings have some common particulars to applying them that have to be paid attention to. Proper application and fitment is the key to displaying them. One of the major tricks in the woodworkers kit for accomplishing this is a shooting board that can address the special needs of molding fitment.
Unlike square or rectangular stock where front, back, top and bottom can be interchangeable, a molding is a stick that has a distinct front to it. This front side also often has a distinct top and bottom to it, which also forces a distinct left and right end to it. Moldings therefore require that we use either their backside or their top edge as a reference surface for the layout of the miters required to apply them.
This seems simple enough in theory, but in application, this means for example that now, a 90 degree miter has two distinct halves that have to be addressed as left hand and right hand. The handed-ness of each half of a 90 degree miter has a right side which is on the left end of a board, and a left side that is on the right end of a board. While it is nice if a miter can be square, it isn’t always, yet both halves should measure 1/2 of the total angle. Shooting these particular miters require a twin chute shooting board to do this well and accurately.
How do these three shooting board models specifically address molding work? Each is a twin chute model, which allows the shooting plane to be used in both left and right hand modes to address each side of a miter as required for molding work. Like all our shooting boards, the chutes are tested and calibrated for 0.001 straightness and coplanarity. The fence bases and faces are also flattened to 0.001 and are both adjustable and calibratable so you can dial the angle in for total precision accuracy. Each fence has a tall, precision-flattened surface, which is tall enough to reach the top of a 2 inch plane iron, yet is removable for short work.
To shoot both sides of a miter accurately, we feel attention to detail, having all three dimensions addressed for accuracy is important, and independent angle calibration for each fence is key. Wood movement in the materials must be compensated for so the guesswork is removed from the equation. We select Baltic Birch Plywood for this application, as it is the most movement stable, and durable wood product available for this application.
Each board is laid out for the work it is meant to do.
The ‘Picture Frame Shooter’ comes with three 2-piece fences.
A 90 degree fence which can be ordered for either left or right handed woodworkers, and two 45 degree fences that are mounted to the board simultaneously, and are meant to shoot moldings as oriented as they are for picture frame or similar work. This layout has application elsewhere in decorative casework, inside corners on the horizontal, door and window framing, and wainscoting. This board will most often be used with the molding referenced against the base, but some molding orientations such as inside corners will require the molding to reference against the fence face.
The ‘Casework Molding Shooter’ comes with a single 2-piece fence that has both a left and right hand side.
It’s purpose is for shooting the angle of a molding that goes around an outside corner on the horizontal, such as the moldings that are along the tops and bottoms of casework, as well as outside corners and mitered terminations in finish carpentry work.
The single fence has two different mounting positions; left and right, and is so oriented with one fence, because one angle setting would be in the way of the opposite angle setting when in use. This board will most often be used with the molding referenced against the fence face.
The ‘Master Miter Shooter’ comes with four 2-piece fences and is the combination of both the ‘Picture Frame Shooter’ and the ‘Casework Miter Shooter’.
It comes with all the fences and mounting points for the fences that make up the ‘Picture Frame Shooter’, and the ‘Casework Miter Shooter’ as shown above. As a combination of those shooting boards, it is a great value and offers all the same accuracy and functionality as a combination board, but has a bit slower production rate if the need for fence frequent changes often are required. As with the other two molding boards, the moldings can either be referenced against the base or fence face as required.
All three of these boards are excellent choices for rectilinear boards as well as moldings. The ‘Picture Frame Shooter’ and ‘Master Miter Shooter’ offer 90 degree shooting as well as on the 45. The ‘Casework Molding Shooter’ does not offer 90 degree capability. It’s sole purpose is to accomplish the outside corner miter which is a unique miter in application and shooting. Each board can be ordered so the Lie-Nielsen LN-51 Shooting board plane can be used in the right hand chute.
Whether you cut with power or hand tools, these three boards can help you bring your best work on miters or general woodwork when shooting any 45 or 90 degree end, on any stock, molding or rectangular. In essence, they help make difficult work a lot easier. For more details and pricing, please see each shooting boards webpage as referenced above, and see our entire shooting board and woodworking tool line up in the Evenfall Studios Woodworks Store. Remember ordering is open 24/7-365 and we ship internationally!
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